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Colloquium: Spin Polarized Tunneling: A time travel towards molecular spintronics

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Jagadeesh Moodera, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
12 November 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
117 Osmond Laboratory
Contact Name
Moses Chan
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Information storage capabilities have reached dizzying height in the past decade: the bit size and computing is inching towards molecular level. The electron spin degree of freedom in molecules, the well-defined smallest electronic units with atomic precision, have limitless possibilities for synthesis and with precisely designed properties in innumerous ways. A major contributor towards this is spin polarized tunneling (SPT), discovered by Robert Meservey and Paul Tedrow, a powerful method to measure the degree of spin polarization of tunneling electrons from ferromagnetic metals (using a spin split superconductor), onset of ferromagnetism etc. It subsequently led to the discovery of tunnel magneto-resistance in magnetic tunnel junctions, currently in hard drives as readhead sensors for unprecedented storage density. Spin transport in organic semiconductors (OS) has the potential for realizing the molecular level spintronics in a straightforward way. The charge and spin transport at OS and ferromagnetic metal interface, although complex, has the needed capabilities and potential as shown in our recent work. Understanding the interface exchange interaction and controlling it can lead us towards future molecular engineering of spin state as a quantum of information that can aim to develop multifunctional molecular spintronics for memory, sensing, and logic applications.

This talk is an overview of how we got here.

‘Spin Polarized Electron Tunneling’ R. Meservey and P. M. Tedrow, Physics Reports, v.238, 173-248 (1994)

‘Spin Polarized Tunneling’ – A chapter by J. S. Moodera and R. Meservey for the Book “Magnetoelectronics” Edited by M. Johnson  (Elsevier Academic Press 2004)

‘Frontiers in Spin Polarized Tunneling’, J. S. Moodera, G-X. Miao and T. S. Santos, Physics Today (April 2010) p46

‘Tunneling path toward spintronics’, Guo-Xing Miao, Markus Münzenberg and Jagadeesh S Moodera, Rep. Prog. Phys. 74, 036501 (2011)

‘The phenomena of spin filter tunneling’, J. S. Moodera, T. S. Santos and T. Nagahama, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 19 (2007) 165202

‘Spin Manipulation with Magnetic Semiconductor Barriers’, Guoxing Miao and Jagadeesh S. Moodera, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., , 17 (2), 751 – 761 (2015) DOI: 10.1039/c4cp04599h